Delhi High Court refuses to restrain Baba Ramdev’s free speech

In a big setback to the Delhi Medical Association, the Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to restrain Yoga guru Baba Ramdev from making any statements against the allopathic system of medicines or in favour of Coronil.

According to the reports, Delhi High Court on Thursday said Baba Ramdev’s statements against Allopathy come within the parameters of the right to freedom of speech and expression. The HC observed that any order to restrain him from speaking has to be ‘tested on the touchstone of free speech’.

The Delhi High Court was hearing a plea filed by Delhi Medical Association seeking to restrain Baba Ramdev from speaking against allopathy and alleged false information about Patanjali’s Coronil.

The HC expressed its doubts over the “maintainability” of the suit at this stage and said DMA should rather be spending time on finding a cure for the pandemic instead of wasting the court’s time.

“Tomorrow I may feel homoeopathy is fake. Do you mean they will file a suit against me? Ramdev may be right or wrong. But I don’t think your allopathic profession is so fragile,” the HC pointed out, saying the Yoga guru has the right to freedom of speech protected under Art 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.

‘Why are you carrying the torch? This is PIL masquerading as a suit’: HC lashes out at DMA

Meanwhile, Advocate Rajiv Dutta, representing Delhi Medical Association, claimed that people were showing hesitancy in getting vaccinated because of Baba Ramdev’s false claims, which in turn was obstructing the inoculation process and hurting lives.

Responding to DMA’s claims, the court observed, “If Patanjali is violating (rules), it’s for the government to act. Why are you carrying the torch? This is public interest litigation, masquerading as a suit. You better file a PIL saying that he called it a cure and then changed it to immunity booster, and in the meantime, millions bought it.”

Further, Justice C Hari Shankar said, “Ramdev doesn’t have faith in allopathy. He believes everything can be cured by Yoga and Ayurveda. He may be right or wrong, but this court can’t say Coronil is a cure or not. It has to be done by medical experts. Though his words like ‘stupid science’ may be temperate, but that can’t be a cause for a suit.

“Let’s say 10,000 people bought Coronil, and 9,500 died. You go to media and say that Coronil has killed 95 per cent. In that case, Ramdev will file a suit against you? Allopathy has worked for some and not for some. It’s a view,” the judge stressed.

However, the Delhi High Court has also asked Baba Ramdev’s counsel to ask him not to make any provocative statements until the next hearing date on July 13.

IMA calls Baba Ramdev anti-national

A huge controversy erupted when a video of Baba Ramdev declaring allopathy as a ‘hollow practice’ went viral. The Indian Medical Association (IMA), a voluntary, non-government body of doctors, jumped into the fray, taking a strong objection to his remarks. It threatened the Yoga Guru with a police complaint and a Rs 1000 crore defamation suit.

After Baba Ramdev had expressed his opinion on the efficacy of modern medicine, the enraged Indian Medical Association, a private body of practising doctors, had threatened the Yoga Guru and had attacked him by referring to him as ‘anti-national’.

Following that, Baba Ramdev Yoga Guru had fired 25 questions to the Indian Medical Association and pharma companies over the efficacy of the Allopathic treatment. He had listed some common ailments and side effects of modern medicine and had asked why the allopathy doctors have not been able to find a cure for them so far.

Further, the association had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Health Ministry to take cognisance of the remarks made by Baba Ramdev and had demanded that the Yoga guru be booked under sedition charges. The Health Ministry promptly expressed its disapproval over Ramdev’s comments, issuing a letter to the Yoga Guru to retract his statements.

Even Baba Ramdev had complied with the request made to him by the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and withdrew his statements against allopathic medicines.

However, the withdrawal of statements by Baba Ramdev has not satisfied IMA, who have now continued to attack and slander the Yoga Guru for expressing his opinion on the efficacy of the Allopathic medicines.

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